Course Title: Law and Society

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Law and Society

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: Dr Russell Solomon

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 8256

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 48.4.10

Course Coordinator Availability: Office hours Tuesdays 2pm-4pm

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The course is a study of topical issues that affect the law in Australia and internationally. Topical case studies of current interest will be used to assist in the development of skills in legal problem-solving and the ability to ascertain the relevant and appropriate law in a given area. An important part of the topical issues and skill development will be in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Participants will be encouraged to consider creative solutions to problems in the legal system, and will consider a range of possible reform options. The course will include a consideration of socio-economic issues and ethical concerns in the law. Both Commonwealth and state legal arenas will be investigated and comparisons made with relevant international initiatives. Critical theory will be used throughout the course to deconstruct the law’s operation and reconstruct alternative stories of the law. There will be team-based work as part of the assessment and students will be encouraged to assume leadership roles. Students will consider the role of the community in the development of the law.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the completion of the course you will be expected to: have an understanding of selected areas of law, including the structure of the legal system and the place of alternative dispute resolution; have an ability to ascertain the relevant law at both State and Commonwealth level and exhibit problem-solving skills and be able to consider the place of alternative dispute resolution in problem solving; be able to critique, from a number of perspectives, the law; understand issues relating to access to justice for a number of groups including issues relating to gender, youth, the aged, indigenous groups, ethnic groups, those with disabilities, minority sexual preference, geographic location and socio-economic power differences; be able to evaluate a range of possible reform options and identify and reflect upon ethical dilemmas that may present in practice, and be able to demonstrate creative initiative in formulating solutions to legal problems and consider community issues in law reform, and in particular, consider the role of alternative dispute resolution.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be able to engage in a variety of lectures and smaller classes.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to use a prescribed text.

Overview of Assessment

You will be able to prepare assessment tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 4,000 words.